The Green Way to Travel in Your Neighborhood

Neighborhood greenways are safer, calmer residential streets for you, your family and neighbors. Neighborhood greenways provide people of all ages and abilities with attractive places to walk, roll, ride a bike, skate, and run.

The amenities added can be especially beneficial for families, children and older adults who might find these routes more comfortable than busier nearby streets. On streets with low car volumes and speeds, installing a series of small traffic improvements can add up to a big difference.

Neighborhood greenways provide people of all ages and abilities with attractive places to walk, roll, ride a bike, skate, and run. (Photo courtesy of SDOT.)

Seattle currently has about 13 miles of neighborhood greenways in place. Over the next 20 years Seattle will add almost 250 miles of neighborhood greenways. People who live, work, play and shop near greenways can look forward to 20 MPH streets taking them to where they want to go. To reinforce the calmer speeds, speed humps are added and stop signs placed on streets intersecting the greenway. The stop signs halt drivers before entering the greenway so they can look and see if anyone is coming. They also give priority to those walking and biking along the route.

Click on the map to see current and future neighborhood greenways in Seattle.

The Seattle Department of Transportation (SDOT) will also make pavement and temporary sidewalk repairs, add wayfinding signs, put in curb ramps at busy streets, and add bicycle pavement markings to help guide users and alert drivers that they are sharing the street.

In 2012, the City of Seattle completed a greenway in the Wallingford neighborhood. SDOT asked a few people along the route what they thought of it so far. Here are a couple of quotes from Wallingford residents:

"We love living near the greenway and use it almost daily! My children are little and ride upon my bike, but I look forward to the day they'll fly solo and we can form a little bike train along our favorite street."—Madeleine

"I have noticed that dog walkers seem to favor the greenway as part of their morning or afternoon loops."—Adrian

"I like the idea of it because it makes you feel safer."—Amy (11 years old)

Seattle residents and visitors can celebrate the creation of a citywide network of facilities in Seattle for people of all ages and abilities to walk and bike along. Learn more about greenways, where they are currently constructed and which neighborhoods they are coming to, by visiting www.seattle.gov/transportation/greenways.htm.

King County residents outside of Seattle can contact Seattle Neighborhood Greenways, a nonprofit organization that promotes development of greenways throughout the region, for help getting greenway projects started.

Contributor Dawn Schellenberg, Seattle Department of Transportation, engages residents in development of new transportation projects. She can be reached at Dawn.Schellenberg@Seattle.gov.

Photo at top of page courtesy of SDOT.

Bicycle Resources for Older Adults

According to the Bicycle Alliance of Washington, new trips by senior citizens account for 22 percent of the growth in bicycling. Want to join the movement? Here are some resources that may help:

Bikes-for-All! is a BikeWorks program that provides marginalized, low-income adults with commuter bikes, complete with lights, a lock, and a helmet, so they can have access to successful year-round bicycle transportation. The program also provides participants with quality bicycle safety instruction. For more information, visit www.bikeworks.org/adult-programs/bikes.

Seattle Mayor Ed Murray hosted the inaugural ride of Seattle's new Pronto bike share program in October 2014.

Cascade Bicycle Club offers both adult riding classes—everything from learning to ride and bicycle basics to urban bicycle riding—as well as bicycle maintenance classes. For access to either kind of class, visit www.cascade.org/node/6783.

Pronto! is a nonprofit bicycle sharing system that currently offers 500 bikes at 50 stations located throughout Seattle. Their goal is to provide all King County residents and visitors with access to a low-cost, fast, flexible, and convenient transportation alternative with economic, social, and environmental benefits to the region. To learn how it works, click here.

SLOW (Senior Ladies On Wheels), sponsored by the Cascade Bicycle Club, welcomes anyone who likes to meander on a bicycle. All slow riders are welcome—old, young, male, female and everything in between, as long as they ride slow. For information, contact Merlin Rainwater (merlinrain@gmail.com or 206-769-6549).

Aging and Disability Services director Maureen Linehan is an avid cyclist. (Photo by Lorraine Sanford.)